Pagan Studies

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Veritas: Protecting Truth

Veritas is boldly tattooed on my left forearm. In time it evolved to be surrounded by acanthus leaves and three pomegranates, creating a half sleeve down to wrist. In shades of grey, it is only augmented by single red thread.

Often, I am asked what it all means. Both the tattoo and the thread?  Many mistakenly assume I came to Qabalah through Madonna and that veritas refers to being a wino, in vino veritas or Harvard alumni whose motto is veritas. All are false. I am not a big fan of the Material Girl, or wine, and I did not go to Harvard.

I have worn the red thread, a talisman of the tomb of Rachel long before Madonna made it vogue and before the tattooing of the word veritas.   I continue to wear it long after celebrity interest has waned and as more than symbol of Qabalah.  I observed as a teenager that we give with our right hand and receive with our left. In my search for wisdom, I discovered for centuries humankind had tied red string to the left wrist to block the receiving of negative energy. I began wearing the red thread after I was sexually assaulted. It was the only thing that made me feel strong.  I saw it as a way to ward off another attack. Some might assume survivors of trauma want to forget. We never do, and so this thread reminds me that I was not built to break, that I am strong, and that I am empowered.

About two years ago, I read a quote by Simone de Beauvoir, “I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth - and truth rewarded me.”

It really struck a chord with me.  The weekend after I heard that quote, I had Veritas tattooed on my arm. I knew instantly the tattoo was perfect because while many think I have some random Latin word tattooed, I actually have a Goddess. Veritas, the Goddess of Truth, the daughter of Saturn and Virtue who hid at the bottom of the well because she was thought to be so elusive. As my love for Truth has grown, I added the pomegranates the fruit that restored the balance to the wheel of the year in the Eleusinian Mysteries.  Acanthus leaves fill in the negative space in swirling patterns, and like Vertias’ stor, the tattooing will unfold the mystery that moves up my arm. 

I tore myself away from the safe comforts of certainties that I assumed privilege afforded me. Like not being sexually assaulted, and as a result truth rewarded me.  The veritas on my arm is the power to say, "you raped me, and I hex you for the harm you caused". It is the truth to say,"I release myself from the religious bindings of Christianity;  Jesus is not my "friend and teacher".  Rather the manifestation of a God source that for centuries has smite my people, and tried destroy the Queen of Heaven (Jeremiah 7:18)." The truth to say, "This is my life, my dharma, my path; I am Goddess, I am immanent. I am Her most righteous indignation." 

I tore myself away from the safe comforts of certainties and surrendered into the divine embrace of Veritas. The truth is that my left arm has become a silent testament that can never be erased. My tattoo is a powerful reminder of my daily walk with Her and the red thread on my left wrist blocks and and all from taking my truth. In a faith that is ours to create, and a relationship with Goddess that is all powerful, generative and loving, truth is the great emancipator.  

Truth is our gateway to love, and freedom from darkness. Veritas is ours to be awakened. What is your protected veritas, and what is your red thread? 


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Erick DuPree is a published author, mantra and meditation teacher, and yogi in the Philadelphia area, who seeks to discover the intricacies of life through a Tantric lens. He weaves heart centered practices with ancient Goddess mysteries, holistic healing and art to create better living.


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